James Study: Week 4

James 2:14-26

Faith without Good Deeds Is Dead

14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God.[a] Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?

21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”[b] He was even called the friend of God.[c] 24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.

25 Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. 26 Just as the body is dead without breath,[d] so also faith is dead without good works.

 

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Good morning and happy Monday! I love Mondays so much. I can't wait to see what this week brings. Let's get into todays devotional. I love this bit of James. It's so important to apply this. James is saying that having faith but not following through with our actions is pointless. Verses 2:15-16 give an example or what faith without action looks like: saying "go in peace and be warm and I hope you eat well" to someone who has no food or clothing is a cop-out. What good is it to wish someone "well" but not actually help them out when they are in need? 

This is a convicting passage today! How many times do we say to people "I hope it works out" without actually asking "how can I help?". Faith by itself isn’t enough - unless it produces good deeds, James says it's dead and useless.

James gives an example of what faith with action looks like. In verse 25 he speaks about Rahab (from the book of Joshua in the OT). Rahab hid Jewish spies from her own people and lowered them on a rope so that they could escape - that is her faith followed with action.

How can we make sure this week to follow our faith with action?

Have a beautiful week guys, I can't wait for next week's passage, it's a good one!

 

June 27, 2022 — Beth Parkes

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